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State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) => Court Matters => Topic started by: lin on May 06, 2013, 07:51:21 AM

Title: Voice ID experts
Post by: lin on May 06, 2013, 07:51:21 AM
Pleading posted at gzlegal:


MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING REGARDING ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/mot_for_evidentiary_hearing.pdf)

Mr. O'Mara is seeking a Frye hearing (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10914596).  U.S. v. Frye, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923)

(Topic title updated by TalkLeft to include new expert reports relased.)
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: lin on May 06, 2013, 08:10:42 AM
FromBelow posted this motion last night and it is being discussed here (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2059.msg109392.html#msg109392).

Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 06, 2013, 08:11:47 AM
Filed on Friday, the 3rd of May.  Must have been later in the day, to account for not appearing on GZLegal site until today.  O'Mara has been on television talking about the voice ID issue.

I predict the court will not exclude the state's expert voice ID witness(es), regardless of the merits of the defense argument.  The question of scientific reliability is outside of her ken, so she'll be faced, herself, with dueling experts.  The state claiming the method is reliable and accepted in the scientific community, and the defense expert claiming the method is not reliable and/or accepted in the scientific community.  Being unable to tell the difference, the court will let the battle of the experts to be presented to the jury.  If she's wrong, all that is at risk is reversal of the decision on appeal.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: Philly on May 06, 2013, 09:35:08 AM
This seems to be exactly the kind of testimony that Frye hearings are meant to exclude - prejudicial statements, cloaked in the trappings of science/credentials.  O'Mara has a good point, in that depending on who one belives is screaming is likely to bias a juror strongly one way or the other.

If the hearing results in the state tipping it's hand and giving the defense a sneak peak at their expert's testimony, that should be useful for O'Mara, regardless of the actual ruling.  If testimony of someone like Tom Owens ends up being allowed in the actual trial, but O'Mara is able to impeach him and make him look foolish, might that even better than having that testimony suppressed?

Filed on Friday, the 3rd of May.  Must have been later in the day, to account for not appearing on GZLegal site until today.  O'Mara has been on television talking about the voice ID issue.

I predict the court will not exclude the state's expert voice ID witness(es), regardless of the merits of the defense argument.  The question of scientific reliability is outside of her ken, so she'll be faced, herself, with dueling experts.  The state claiming the method is reliable and accepted in the scientific community, and the defense expert claiming the method is not reliable and/or accepted in the scientific community.  Being unable to tell the difference, the court will let the battle of the experts to be presented to the jury.  If she's wrong, all that is at risk is reversal of the decision on appeal.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 06, 2013, 10:17:31 AM
This seems to be exactly the kind of testimony that Frye hearings are meant to exclude - prejudicial statements, cloaked in the trappings of science/credentials.  O'Mara has a good point, in that depending on who one belives is screaming is likely to bias a juror strongly one way or the other.

If the hearing results in the state tipping it's hand and giving the defense a sneak peak at their expert's testimony, that should be useful for O'Mara, regardless of the actual ruling.  If testimony of someone like Tom Owens ends up being allowed in the actual trial, but O'Mara is able to impeach him and make him look foolish, might that even better than having that testimony suppressed?

There won't be any surprise expert testimony.  The point of discovery is to avoid surprises at trial.  O'Mara has to know what the state's expert opinions are based on, otherwise he would have no grounds to object.

It's not uncommon for one side in a trial to proffer expert testimony based on "junk science," where the "junk" is either using an inapplicable (but reliable and respected) scientific or legal principle, or in misconstruction or misapplication of a sound principle to the evidence.  Any of those flaws is basis for excluding the expert.

My speculation is just that Nelson is so biased in favor of the state, that she is unable to hear, let alone comprehend a sound argument offered by the defense.  I suspect she is scientifically illiterate too, so any argument about the technical merits will fly right over her head.  Given that situation inside her head, she has no choice but to allow the state's expert - if she's wrong, the DCA will fix it.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 06, 2013, 10:22:46 AM
If somebody can look up previous Frye hearing held under Nelson, it would more helpful than speculation based mostly on personal anathema towards her.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 13, 2013, 04:57:30 PM
This might be dated, and I'm sure it has been cited before, but might be of use here.  The article has a fairly lengthy list of precedents as to the admissibility of voice ID.

Voice Identification The Aural/Spectrographic Method (http://www.owlinvestigations.com/article1.html) - Thomas J. Owen

   In 1972 the third and fourth District Courts of Florida, in separate opinions, held admissible the use of spectrographic voice identification evidence. The court in Worley held that the voice identification evidence was admissible to corroborate the defendant's identification by other means. The court stated that the technique had attained the necessary level of scientific reliability required for admission, but since it was only offered as corroborative evidence, the court refused to comment as to whether such evidence alone would be sufficient to sustain the identification and conviction.

   The third District Court of Appeals of Florida did not limit the admission of spectrograph evidence to corroborative status. In the Alea opinion the court does not mention the Frye test as the standard to be used for admission, but rather states that "such testimony is admissible to establish the identity of a suspect as direct and positive proof, although its probative value is a question for the jury".


"Probative value is a question for the jury" means that the jury can reject the expert's opinion.  If the court allows a state expert, it will also allow the defense to submit expert rebuttal.  We should get a very good sense of how that will play, by observing the dueling experts at the May 28 hearing.

ALEA v STATE, 265 So.2d 96 (http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=1972361265So2d96_1291.xml) (Fla. 1972)

As in Worley v. State, supra, there was other substantial evidence to identify the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime. He was one of the persons who attempted to implement the extortion threats by the collection of the money extorted. In addition, there was proof that his voice was identified as that of the person making the threats by two witnesses who testified without the aid of spectrographic voiceprint identification.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 13, 2013, 05:31:15 PM

Voice Identification The Aural/Spectrographic Method (http://www.owlinvestigations.com/article1.html) - Thomas J. Owen

Quote
The first step is to evaluate the recording of the unknown voice, checking to make sure the recording has a sufficient amount of speech with which to work and that the quality of the recording is of sufficient clarity in the frequency range required for analysis. The volume of the recorded voice signal must be significantly higher than that of the environmental noise. The greater the number of obscuring events, such as noise, music, and other speakers, the longer the sample of speech must be. Some examiners report that they reject as many as sixty percent of the cases submitted to them with one of the main reasons for rejection being the poor quality of the recording of the unknown voice.

I'm wondering if the defense can subpoena the FBI experts as fact witnesses on the quality of the recording of the unknown voice.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: AJ on May 13, 2013, 06:20:57 PM
I think the issue with Owens' testimony is that O'Mara might be bringing up is that his software uses a propriety algorithm to compare the exemplars. No one knows what, exactly, is being compared... except those who have worked on the source of the software. Based on this secret formula it has determined that Mr. Zimmerman's voice is only a 46% match.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 13, 2013, 06:44:21 PM
In Bundy v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11162389117495331963&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 455 So. 2d 330 (Fla. 1984), the state supreme court lumped voice prints with polygraphs as "inadmissible techniques":

Quote
Bite mark comparison evidence differs from many other kinds of scientific evidence such as blood tests, "breathalyzer" tests, and radar (as well as from inadmissible techniques such as the polygraph and voice-print analyses) in that these various techniques involve total reliance on scientific interpretation to establish a question of fact.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 13, 2013, 06:53:35 PM
I think the issue with Owens' testimony

I haven't seen any indication that the prosecution intends to call Owen.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 07:51:09 AM
State's Expert's reports are up at GZLegal

State's 16th Supplemental discovery (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_state_16_discovery.pdf) discloses the expert's names and attaches their reports

Report of State's Expert Harry Hollien and James Harnsberger (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_speaker_identification.pdf) is inconclusive, assigning some sounds to Zimmerman, others to Martin, none with much confidence.

Report of State's Expert Alan Reich (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_reich_report.pdf) reaches a tentative conclusion that the screamer is Martin.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: Cylinder on May 14, 2013, 08:33:08 AM
Alan Reich is selling snake oil. Where the eff does Zimmerman say "These shall be" and how is that a "religious proclomation." Bravo Sierra.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: Cylinder on May 14, 2013, 08:38:05 AM
"[R]eminicent of an evangelical preacher or carnival barker..."

This ain't science.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: AJ on May 14, 2013, 08:50:37 AM
Alan Reich has been on the State's side since long before he got Mr. Martin's exemplars. In fact, his document is pretty much a copy/paste of what he wrote nearly 1 year ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trayvon-martin-case-911-call-two-experts-reach-two-much-different-conclusions/2012/05/19/gIQAtuapbU_story.html
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 08:53:12 AM
There is nothing in the two reports to indicate the authors had any basis for comparing screams on a cell phone with whatever other samples they had.  In fact one report admits that they hadn't made any control studies and wishes they had more time and money to do them.   Neither report represents standard methods that have been accepted in courts to do voice comparison.  BDLR has some nerve to suggest that a Frye hearing is not necessary to discuss the validity of the "science" used.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: Cylinder on May 14, 2013, 09:00:55 AM
Riech made a huge error in the claim that he could extract a voice superimposed over a gunshot.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 09:09:37 AM
Alan Reich has been on the State's side since long before he got Mr. Martin's exemplars. In fact, his document is pretty much a copy/paste of what he wrote nearly 1 year ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trayvon-martin-case-911-call-two-experts-reach-two-much-different-conclusions/2012/05/19/gIQAtuapbU_story.html

Heh.  I figured the state was smart enough to avoid experts (like Own and Primeau) who had made public pronouncements.  I guess the state isn't that smart.  Reich is just sticking to his previous in order to protect his own reputation.

His argument essentially starts with the conclusion, and then makes findings.  The person making the controlled sounds is not the screamer, and since Zimmerman won the fight (had the upper hand, the fight was over by the time the 911 call started!), his voice is the one that is more controlled.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 09:39:42 AM
From page 5 of the H and H report,
Quote
Both the "known" and the "unknown" samples were band-pass filtered with both the high pass and low pass filtering cutoffs set outside the speech range.
  I am wondering if those cutoffs clipped the scream range especially at the high end.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 09:48:13 AM
Just a quick thought about whether or not the experts are to be subjected to a Frye hearing.  As with most any issue in the law, a fundamental pivot point is defining the question or framing the issue.  If the question is "is spectrographic analysis accepted in the scientific community?" the answer is "Yes."  But, if the question is "is there a scientifically accepted method to perform voice ID from a sample of a person under stress, with the sample voice being outdoors in a reverberating environment, communicated through (50) feet of air, to a phone, and recorded on 8 kHz 911 digital equipment (and the sample is contaminated with other, overlapping sounds)?"  The answer is no - see battling experts.  If there was a scientifically accepted method for this, the experts would agree on the ultimate answer.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 10:03:09 AM
Another quick thought.  I don't know if interpretation of equivocal sounds into words and phrases passes the Frye test.  The voice analysis that I am aware of uses audio-spectral analysis to associate spoken words with the person who spoke them.  I am not aware of audio-spectral analysis being reliably used to disambiguate utterances.

Bernardo, you lose Reich (if the law is followed) at least as to word identification, the jury will decide themselves what words they hear.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 10:08:44 AM
Just a quick thought about whether or not the experts are to be subjected to a Frye hearing.  As with most any issue in the law, a fundamental pivot point is defining the question or framing the issue.  If the question is "is spectrographic analysis accepted in the scientific community?" the answer is "Yes."  But, if the question is "is there a scientifically accepted method to perform voice ID from a sample of a person under stress, with the sample voice being outdoors in a reverberating environment, communicated through (50) feet of air, to a phone, and recorded on 8 kHz 911 digital equipment (and the sample is contaminated with other, overlapping sounds)?"  The answer is no - see battling experts.  If there was a scientifically accepted method for this, the experts would agree on the ultimate answer.
Standard courtroom accepted science is to use spectral analysis to compare 10-20 snippets of pairs of syllables taken from two samples made under (almost) identical conditions.  Anything that departs essentially from that model should be subject to a Frye hearing.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 10:27:59 AM
Standard courtroom accepted science is to use spectral analysis to compare 10-20 snippets of pairs of syllables taken from two samples made under (almost) identical conditions.  Anything that departs essentially from that model should be subject to a Frye hearing.

Bernardo is arguing that the scope of Frye hearing is limited to identification of the technology, in this case, spectral analysis.  The point that both you and I are making is that the scope of Frye hearing necessarily involves identification of more than just the technology, it also has to look at the relationship between the technology and the evidence.  That is an issue in any audio-spectral case, and so there should be a hearing.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 11:23:12 AM
What is missing is the original request from ASA Richard W. Mantei to Hollien and Harnsberger to do the testing.  I assume the defense is allowed to see it.  It is unclear what they were asked to do.  Their report shows that they tested pairs of individual snippets of voice and tried to come up with a confidence number for each whether it was Martin or Zimmerman.  How they came up with those numbers is pretty dicey, IMHO.  There also was very little in the report on whether it is valid at all to compare screams with normal speech.  Certainly a Frye hearing is needed to discuss that.  They themselves say (page 4)
Quote
Samples this brief rarely lead to attempts at speaker indentification.  Ordinarily, 10 words or 10 seconds of speech constitute a bare minimum.  However, they were the only "unknown" samples available and the task involved making a determination between but two speakers...
  I conclude from this they were under pressure to come up with identifications from individual snippet pairs, and against their better judgment complied.  And when is a conclusion that they don't have a match, just it is possible, ever allowed as evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?
Quote
Based on the many analyses carried out, the undersigned has to conclude that, while there is evidence to suggest that Mr. Martin made the first two calls/cries (Nos one and eight) and that Mr. Zimmerman made those identified as 14 and 16, none of these conclusions reached the criterion for a match.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 11:36:56 AM

Hollien/Harnsberger (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_speaker_identification.pdf) disregards as unusable all the intelligible cries of 'help' or 'help me'. These are the six utterances they found usable:

wow, ow, cherp, wyra, owa, swa



Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 14, 2013, 11:47:00 AM
In considering whether to allow Reich to testify, I wonder if a Frye hearing or sanity hearing is more appropriate.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 12:02:27 PM
And when is a conclusion that they don't have a match, just it is possible, ever allowed as evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?

No.  In order to be useful to the finder of fact, the expert has to reach a conclusion to at least a reasonable degree of certainty.  If the expert can't proffer that, then the expert isn't helpful.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 01:02:30 PM
From today's OS (http://But Zimmerman's lawyer says he may ask to delay the trial in light of the new analysis; The defense may need an additional expert to counter one of the new state reports, defense attorney Mark O'Mara told the Orlando Sentinel.). 
Quote
But Zimmerman's lawyer says he may ask to delay the trial in light of the new analysis; The defense may need an additional expert to counter one of the new state reports, defense attorney Mark O'Mara told the Orlando Sentinel.
................
O'Mara called Reich's analysis flawed, and he may ask for a trial delay to find an expert to rebut him. The report by Hollien and Harnsberger, he said, was inconclusive. O'Mara said a defense expert has analyzed the same audio and concluded Zimmerman is the one calling for help.
One would think that the report from O'Mara's expert should appear on GZDocs soon.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 01:32:52 PM
Responding to post on another thread.

I think Zimmerman says that Martin was talking.  "Shut up," etc.

'Shut the f* up!' It's in the written statement (http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/312/assets/40ZK_written_statement_0226.pdf) (p. 3), the reenactment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qfkRTC5gF4#t=09m15s) (9:15-25), and the CVSA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJzKYeX0DLI#t=31m05s) (31:05-59).

In the CVSA, Zimmerman said that Martin said the same line at least twice, when Zimmerman first started yelling, and when Martin started to suffocate him. Only the first occasion is mentioned in the written statement, and only the second one in the reenactment.

Quote
IOW, that both of them were making sounds is not a point of contention.

Some have tried to impeach Zimmerman on this point, because the words he attributed to Martin aren't audible on the recording.

Whatever weight Hollien/Harnsberger has, it is corroborative of Zimmerman.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 01:38:55 PM
I've just started on Reich's report. He thinks the NEN call is a 911 call.

I know many people think this is trivial. I think it is significant evidence that the investigator isn't paying attention.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 01:49:58 PM
In considering whether to allow Reich to testify, I wonder if a Frye hearing or sanity hearing is more appropriate.

Reich's report, (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_reich_report.pdf) p. 3.
Quote
His first utterance on CALL1 [NEN] is a whispered, "D'ya think I'm crazy here?"

Projection?
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: paperboy05 on May 14, 2013, 01:55:53 PM
So is Reich attempting to determine what was said better or worse when reality ghost hunting shows do that with EVPs? Seems like they are nothing but opinions based on confirmation bias IMO.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 02:00:10 PM
Where the eff does Zimmerman say "These shall be" 

It's 'challenging for the untrained listener to detect'.

Reich says it's one second after the start of the recording, simultaneous with the dispatcher saying 'nine one one'.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 14, 2013, 02:31:28 PM
The state may seek a second murder charge because Reich hears Zimmerman confess, "I buried Paul."
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: TalkLeft on May 14, 2013, 03:01:57 PM
Neither of these reports rise to the level of admissible evidence in my opinion. Reich's is a joke. I just posted my thoughts here (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/5/14/164933/191/crimenews/-Expert-Reports-in-George-Zimmerman-Case-Disclosed).
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 03:06:51 PM
Reich hears Zimmerman confess, "I buried Paul."

Is this a pop culture allusion?
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 14, 2013, 03:11:24 PM
Is this a pop culture allusion?

Yes. The Beatles.  Play Revolution No. 9 backwards, and you hear "Paul is dead" (or "Turn me on dead man")
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 14, 2013, 06:16:25 PM
Not everybody has the negative opinion of the reports given here.  Bill Schaeffer, the resident "legal analyst" at WFTV, Orlando says (http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/state-audio-experts-differ-trayvons-zimmermans-voi/nXqwt/)
Quote
It may be the defense's biggest nightmare...

In the end, you may back the battle of the experts and the jury will be left to sort it out....But Sheaffer said the science isn't new and it's likely the judge will allow it.

"The judge is likely to find, 'I think I'm going to let this in, let the jury hear it, let the jury decide what weight or credibility to give these expert witnesses,'" said Sheaffer.

Since he knows more about Florida Courts than we do, maybe he is right.  His "the science isn't new" seems to imply very low Frye standards in that state.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 14, 2013, 06:19:44 PM
His "the science isn't new" seems to imply very low Frye standards in that state.

Jose Baez complained of that in the Casey Anthony case.

He won anyway.
Title: Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
Post by: unitron on May 14, 2013, 07:33:51 PM
From page 5 of the H and H report,  I am wondering if those cutoffs clipped the scream range especially at the high end.

They wouldn't have removed the fundamentals, just some of the higher overtones/harmonics, except that the phone system itself would have done that before the audio got to the county's call center recording devices, so what they're really filtering out is stuff outside the "voiceband" that wasn't part of the original audio entering W11's phone.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 17, 2013, 09:06:49 PM
The state's two sets of experts appear to completely contradict each other on the final cry. H&H found 16 utterances. The 16th utterance of "swaa" is likely to be the final word "stop" that Reich hears before the gunshot. Reich states that this must be Martin because the frequency of the first formant is too high to be Zimmerman. H&H make their most emphatic statement that this was not Martin and they attach a 70% probability that it was Zimmerman.
If H&H's "swaa" is indeed Reich's "stop", why not skip the Frye hearing and make the state look like fools at trial.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 17, 2013, 09:54:20 PM
If H&H's "swaa" is indeed Reich's "stop", why not skip the Frye hearing and make the state look like fools at trial.

The state doesn't have to call all, or for that matter any, of their experts. They could call Reich alone.

I don't know why they would call the others. I think their report supports the defense case.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 17, 2013, 09:56:28 PM
The 16th utterance of "swaa" is likely to be the final word "stop" that Reich hears before the gunshot.

Why?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 17, 2013, 10:14:37 PM
H&H make clear in their conclusions that the 16 utterances were numbered in chronological order. As I recall from listening many months ago, the last cry came just before the gunshot. So cry 16 is likely to be the final cry that Reich analyzed. Further "swaa" and "stop" share the first consonant and vowel sound.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 17, 2013, 10:29:10 PM
The state doesn't have to call all, or for that matter any, of their experts. They could call Reich alone.
I see your point here. The timing of the reports is interesting H&H is dated March 20. The state must have read that and decided that they needed to find somebody else in a hurry. Reich's report is dated May 9, the day before both reports were emailed to the defense.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 17, 2013, 11:53:00 PM
They could call Reich alone.
A quick look through Google Scholar reveals that Reich has done some decent science in his past, but his analysis, thus far, is seriously flawed. In analyzing the word "stop" he reports that the first formant frequency is 10% higher than an adult. A quick read of several articles on formant frequencies versus age reveals that the mean of the first formant frequency of most vowels declines sharply until age 16. After that it levels off but declines slowly in older age. The variability within age groups swamps any difference between 17 and 28 year olds. Of course, this is why he needed to try use the exemplars, but didn't. This does not even address the  issue that the extreme emotional state and loudness introduces big changes to the spectral signatures of speech.
I would like to see the graphs he included with his report.
H&H seem to have done the best they could, but they should have never tried to produce numerical confidence levels. It would have been very difficult (impossible?) for them to have determined a sampling distribution for their methodology.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 18, 2013, 10:02:34 AM
The most remarkable thing about the reports is that the results do not satisfy the standards for admissible acoustic evidence matching, as used in prior cases, but the prosecutor claims that a Frye hearing to determine their admissibility is not necessary.  Is that hubris, ignorance or desperation on the part of the prosecutor?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: unitron on May 18, 2013, 10:15:18 AM
... Is that hubris, ignorance or desperation on the part of the prosecutor?

Any reason he can't go for the trifecta?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Evil Chinchilla on May 18, 2013, 12:36:17 PM
Since GZ has stated that he was yelling for help while being attacked, couldn't MoM challenge Reich's alleged "These shall be" by suggesting that it was actually GZ calling to the surrounding townhouses "Please help me!"?

GZ has enough of a "Virginia accent" at times that "help" might come out more like "halp"-- same middle sound as "shall"-- when said under stress.

And am I the only one who'd pay a dollar to read what Reich would make out of the original Crump/DeeDee recordings? 
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: turbo6 on May 18, 2013, 03:09:36 PM
couldn't MoM challenge Reich's alleged "These shall be" by suggesting that it was actually GZ calling to the surrounding townhouses "Please help me!"?

Its kind of mind boggling that an audio expert is alleging that to be an utterance during a fist fight. Unless there was some impromptu sermon going on during the scuffle that we aren't aware of.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: DiwataMan on May 20, 2013, 01:30:31 AM
Its kind of mind boggling that an audio expert is alleging that to be an utterance during a fist fight. Unless there was some impromptu sermon going on during the scuffle that we aren't aware of.

On my post linked below I have a video singling out the "These shall be" part. Given that there was a TV on at some point, though the witness claims it was turned off before the call, and to the fact that another male was in the house, and given many other factors I seriously, and in my "expert" opinion, doubt that is George making that sound.

http://diwataman.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/states-16th-supplemental-discovery-you-got-to-be-kidding-me/
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 20, 2013, 10:16:22 AM
there was a TV on at some point, though the witness claims it was turned off before the call,

W-11 said she muted the TV.

Written statement, 2/26, 87/184 (http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/357450/trayvon-martin-documents-ocr.pdf)

SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2tTr2gEGg&feature=related#t=00m32s) 3/2, 0:32-48

FDLE, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjxKigT2teQ&feature=relmfu#t=01m36s) 3/19, 1:36-59
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: DiwataMan on May 20, 2013, 11:23:01 AM
W-11 said she muted the TV.

Written statement, 2/26, 87/184 (http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/357450/trayvon-martin-documents-ocr.pdf)

SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2tTr2gEGg&feature=related#t=00m32s) 3/2, 0:32-48

FDLE, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjxKigT2teQ&feature=relmfu#t=01m36s) 3/19, 1:36-59

Is there some significance to the difference between off/muted that I'm missing? Regardless, witness are often wrong about things as we all well know, maybe the mute button got hit accidentally real quick as they moved around, maybe it was her boyfriend, maybe it was something on the dispatchers end, maybe it was Jesus.

Continuing with some more thoughts on the matter though I find that particular science being applied in this case should be the last resort in determining various things. What should be done is a recreation from the actual location using the same phone and other factors where tests could be run to see what could actually be heard at different variables from varying distances and such things. That's how to truly be scientific about it. And what they should do is make Reich go outside of W11's home and see if he can recreate this supposed George utterance of "These shall be" and other such nonsense so he feels really stupid and retires in embarrassment.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: leftwig on May 20, 2013, 11:35:16 AM
W-11 said she muted the TV.

Written statement, 2/26, 87/184 (http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/357450/trayvon-martin-documents-ocr.pdf)

SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2tTr2gEGg&feature=related#t=00m32s) 3/2, 0:32-48

FDLE, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjxKigT2teQ&feature=relmfu#t=01m36s) 3/19, 1:36-59

Do we know whether those statements mean there was no sound coming from the TV (mute button used), or that they simply turned the volume down?  I think someone could reasonably say muted when either lowering the volume or silencing it completely.  I often ask my wife to mute the TV when I think I hear the kids upstairs and she always turns the volume down to a low level.  The volume button is used much more often than the mute button and likely easier to think of on quick notice.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: DebFrmHell on May 20, 2013, 11:48:27 AM
Quote
Unicron: [after giving Megatron a new body] Behold, Galvatron! And these shall be your minions.

[giving Thundercracker, Shrapnel, and Kickback new bodies]

Unicron: Scourge, the tracker. And his huntsmen, the Sweeps.

[giving Skywarp and Bombshell new bodies]

Unicron: Cyclonus, the warrior. And his armada.


So all we need to do is find out if Transformers was on TV the night of 2/26/12.   :D
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 20, 2013, 12:05:48 PM
The volume button is used much more often than the mute button and likely easier to think of on quick notice.

I always use the mute button when I want to listen to something else. It's quicker.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 20, 2013, 12:15:17 PM
Regardless, witness are often wrong about things

I think it's strange that your post indicates that you don't think much of Reich's report, but you seem to feel a need to go to desperate lengths to explain it away.

I think the most likely explanation is that Reich's 'This shall be' is really an instance of 'Please help me'. But I don't really feel a need for an explanation. FBI experts and two other prosecution experts have analyzed the recording, and no one corroborates Reich.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: AJ on May 20, 2013, 12:47:00 PM
http://s23.postimg.org/w18ll6l23/separated.png

http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/89717981/file.html
http://s11.postimg.org/joppuc6xu/scream.jpg

http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/23682446/file.html
http://s10.postimg.org/4gum5yqjr/Utterance.png

I have taken the first utterance ("These shall be" - I don't hear that at all) and tried to set proper high/low pass filters to get just the scream (blue in the first image) or just the utterance (black in the first image). They are in flac format (lossless) so ensure you have a proper player if you wish to hear them. Note: I'm not saying they're perfectly separated - I don't believe that's possible.. but I'd say it's pretty darn close.

Here's my question. Given that witnesses put the two individuals together, or at least in the same vacinity, why is it that the person who is seemingly talking in a calm candence-like voice (reminds me of a commercial) louder than the person screaming at the top of their lungs? On the scream I'm getting about -9DB and on the utterance I'm getting -7 to -6 DB. It doesn't make sense, to me, that one person is speaking louder than the person screaming if they're both at the same location. The person speaking -must- be closer to the microphone on the phone to explain this, in my opinion. Anyone have a different plausible explanation?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: leftwig on May 20, 2013, 12:50:24 PM
I always use the mute button when I want to listen to something else. It's quicker.

I didn't presume your or anyone else would only use the volume button to mute a TV.   I was merely suggesting that I think many people would and that muting the TV could mean silencing it or lowering the volume level.  They were lowering it to hear activity/screaming that was occurring right outside their open door, so I wouldnt' think they would have had to silence the TV completely to hear what was going on.

In regards to Reich, has he made any mention of picking up what W6 said to the combatants?  Another witness (W19 I believe) who was across the way and several houses down (further away from W6 than W11 and W20) said she heard W6 say he was going to call 911. 
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: DiwataMan on May 20, 2013, 01:05:31 PM
I think it's strange that your post indicates that you don't think much of Reich's report, but you seem to feel a need to go to desperate lengths to explain it away.

I think the most likely explanation is that Reich's 'This shall be' is really an instance of 'Please help me'. But I don't really feel a need for an explanation. FBI experts and two other prosecution experts have analyzed the recording, and no one corroborates Reich.

Odd, why am I the issue suddenly? If you have no need for what I have to say on the matter then ignore it.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 20, 2013, 01:35:33 PM
Another witness (W19 I believe) who was across the way and several houses down (further away from W6 than W11 and W20) said she heard W6 say he was going to call 911.

W-11 said she heard W-6 (SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2tTr2gEGg&feature=related#t=01m31s) 3/2, 1:31-44)

W-1, across the way and one door down from W-6, said she saw and heard him (SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY6kb47CTeg#t=01m54s) 3/1, 1:54-2:36; FDLE, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ0yg8xvPxw#t=02m03s) 3/20, 2:03-20).

I think those two were the only witnesses who reported hearing W-6.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 20, 2013, 01:50:07 PM
I was wrong. W-19 did say she heard W-6.

She had opened her back door to let her dog out. She saw W-6, and heard him say he was calling 911 before she closed her door.

W-19 SPD, (http://media2.abcactionnews.com/html/zimmermanevidence/audio/W19_SPD02262012.wav) 2/26
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Evil Chinchilla on May 20, 2013, 06:38:09 PM
Do we know whether those statements mean there was no sound coming from the TV (mute button used), or that they simply turned the volume down?  I think someone could reasonably say muted when either lowering the volume or silencing it completely.  I often ask my wife to mute the TV when I think I hear the kids upstairs and she always turns the volume down to a low level.  The volume button is used much more often than the mute button and likely easier to think of on quick notice.

On my TV, the mute button goes to half-volume before it goes to full silence, which takes two clicks. However, the main volume control is a separate button that you have to hold down to lower it.

I guess whether W11 completely silenced her TV is something MoM can establish at trial, assuming there's any need to explore this point. It might need exploration, though, considering that Reich's "findings" have been publicized to potential jurors.

Is it possible that any extraneous voices Reich pulled out of this recording were picked up from background activity at the 911 dispatch end, or just some sort of bleed-through in phone transmission from another call? (Assuming, of course, he actually heard anything at all?)
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: leftwig on May 21, 2013, 07:05:08 AM
So we have 3 witnesses at various locations (one was on the phone with 911 at the time) saying they heard W6 say he was going to call 911.  Does Reich mention anything about what W6 said from his evaluation of W11's 911 call?   I don't know that the wording is all that important, but it might help to establish a timeline for how much time passed from W6 seeing TM on top of GZ until the gunshot is heard.  I think witnesses have provided an estimate, but if he could pick up the words, we'd know exactly how long.

Also, does Reich say the "These shall be" words he picks up are part of the audible screams from the 911 call or are they words that are inaudible in any way from the call until he does his enhancement?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: AJ on May 21, 2013, 09:01:07 AM
Also, does Reich say the "These shall be" words he picks up are part of the audible screams from the 911 call or are they words that are inaudible in any way from the call until he does his enhancement?

The "these shall be" and a scream are the first things you hear on the 911 call. You can hear it separated from the scream in my post here: http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2392.msg109646.html#msg109646
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: FromBelow on May 21, 2013, 09:12:12 AM
The "these shall be" and a scream are the first things you hear on the 911 call. You can hear it separated from the scream in my post here: http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2392.msg109646.html#msg109646

I can't hear anything that sounds like "these shall be" or even anything remotely like words.

EDIT: Ok, VLC player was screwing up. I hear something using MPC.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: unitron on May 21, 2013, 09:42:45 AM
The "these shall be" and a scream are the first things you hear on the 911 call. You can hear it separated from the scream in my post here: http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2392.msg109646.html#msg109646

If those 3 syllables are "these shall be", then the first word is oddly overemphasized and the next 2 oddly run together.

Even if I try to hear it in some preacher's voice in my mind's ear, the cadence isnt' quite right.

Of course I listened without having decided in advance what I wanted to hear.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 21, 2013, 11:52:13 AM
Does Reich mention anything about what W6 said from his evaluation of W11's 911 call? 

No.

Reich describes the report (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/051013_reich_report.pdf) as 'a partial summary' containing 'illustrative examples' (p. 1).

For the 911 call, which Reich designates 'CALL3', the only voices he mentions are W-11 ('an unidentified woman caller'), the dispatcher, and 'two males involved in a very loud but somewhat distant confrontation just outside the woman caller's home'. He says 'One of the male speakers appears to be George Zimmerman', and 'The other male speaker was identified tentatively as Trayvon Martin'. (p. 2)
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 21, 2013, 02:45:12 PM
Tom Owen asks $3000 for his deposition.  See here (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0513/052113_reasonable_fee.pdf).  I am confused by the motion.  The defense seems to say,Since he hasn't been listed as an A type witness yet and apparently there is no report from him in discovery, I am confused why the defense is raising the issue of Owen testifying at this time.  Why hasn't the defense raised the issue of deposing Reich, Hollien and Harnsberger?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 21, 2013, 03:05:58 PM
RJ, maybe Owens in on the Category A list under a W#. Reich and the Hs were. The hiding of expert-witness names is ridiculous, as is much of the other name hiding.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 21, 2013, 03:08:33 PM
  • If they do, the defense wants to depose him a head of time.  Before the Frye hearing?

The probably want to know what he'll say so they can attack his methods at the Frye hearing.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Cylinder on May 21, 2013, 03:14:33 PM
The probably want to know what he'll say so they can attack his methods at the Frye hearing.

Or use his methodology (http://www.experts.com/Articles/Voice-Identification-The-Aural-Spectrographic-Method-By-Thomas-J-Owen) to attack Reich's.

Quote
The first step is to evaluate the recording of the unknown voice, checking to make sure the recording has a sufficient amount of speech with which to work and that the quality of the recording is of sufficient clarity in the frequency range required for analysis. The volume of the recorded voice signal must be significantly higher than that of the environmental noise. The greater the number of obscuring events, such as noise, music, and other speakers, the longer the sample of speech must be. Some examiners report that they reject as many as sixty percent of the cases submitted to them with one of the main reasons for rejection being the poor quality of the recording of the unknown voice...

The examiner can only work with speech samples which are the same as the text of the unknown recording. Under the best of circumstances the suspects will repeat, several times, the text of the recording of the unknown speaker and these words will be recorded in a similar manner to the recording of the unknown speaker. For example, if the recording of the unknown speaker was a bomb threat made to a recorded telephone line then each of the suspects would repeat the threat, word for word, to a recorded telephone line. This will provide the examiner with not only the same speech sounds for comparison but also with valuable information about the way each speech sound completes the transition to the next sound.

There are those times when a voice sample must be obtained without the knowledge of the suspect. It is possible to make an identification from a surreptitious recording but the amount of speech necessary to do the comparison is usually much greater. If the suspect is being engaged in conversation for the purpose of obtaining a voice sample, the conversation must be manipulated in such a way so as to have the suspect repeat as many of the words and phrases found in the text of the unknown recording as possible.

The worst exemplar recordings with which an examiner must work are those of random speech. It is necessary to obtain a large sample of speech to improve the chances of obtaining a sufficient amount of comparable speech.

As in any other form of identification analysis, as the quality of the evidence with which the examiner has to work declines, the greater the amount of evidence and time necessary to complete the analysis, and the less likely the chance for a positive conclusion...
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Philly on May 21, 2013, 03:27:17 PM
Owens is different from Reich and Hollien/Harnsberger, in that he claims to have software that can compare screams to normal speech, and identify or rule out the screamer's identity.  The other voice experts that have been listed rely on more subjective listening/analysis techniques.

It's possible this filing is aimed partly at getting Owens to run his same "Easy Voice Biometrics" software that had "excluded Zimmerman" against the samples of Trayvon's voice that now are known to exist.  If this software turns out to yield an even lower likelihood that the final screams belonged to Trayvon, this is potentially useful for O'Mara, and would explain why the state might not be planning to use him.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 21, 2013, 03:28:00 PM
Or use his methodology (http://www.experts.com/Articles/Voice-Identification-The-Aural-Spectrographic-Method-By-Thomas-J-Owen) to attack Reich's.

Wouldn't that mean making him their expert, at their own cost, at the rate he chooses to charge?

This reminds me of something I've wondered about before, regarding the FBI experts. If the prosecution shows forensic evidence to an expert, then chooses not to call him, can the defense subpoena that witness as a fact witness? Any case law?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 21, 2013, 03:30:56 PM
Remember that BDLR said the defense had declined the chance to depose one of the state's voice-ID experts. I think we now know who and why.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 21, 2013, 03:36:40 PM
RJ, maybe Owens in on the Category A list under a W#. Reich and the Hs were.

Were they listed by name in another category?

I think the most likely reason Owen has become an issue would be that he is the only witness who has asked the defense to pay for his deposition.

I'm puzzled that the defense offers to pay anything. Sitting for deposition would be part of Owen's job as a state witness.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 21, 2013, 03:55:00 PM
Were they listed by name in another category?

I never found their witness number listed in a supplemental discovery document, but I can't find copies of the state's 14th and 15th supplemental discovery filings, so they could be listed there.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 21, 2013, 03:59:45 PM
That response didn't quite address the question, but as far as I know, they weren't listed either by name or number before. Owens was listed by name as a Category C witness in the original discovery document. Perhaps he was upgraded in the mysterious 14th or 15th supplements.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 21, 2013, 04:44:39 PM
I'm puzzled that the defense offers to pay anything. Sitting for deposition would be part of Owen's job as a state witness.

Opposition pays to depose the other side's expert witnesses.  I do expert work, it's part of my living.  The guy that hired me pays for my investigation, analysis, opinions, and any report.  When I am deposed by opposition, THEY pay for my time and any travel and living expenses.  They get my report "for free" (tagalong with the guy who hired me) but they don't get to question me for free.  I think the basis is that opposition is hostile, and while they have a right to put me on the hot seat, I have a right to be paid for my time.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 21, 2013, 08:16:53 PM
Owen said in the Sentinel
“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else”
The two other sets of state experts claim that there was a mixture of cries/calls from Martin and Zimmerman.  Even under perfect recording and non-stressful conditions, Owen should not expect a match with a mixture of voices.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 24, 2013, 01:06:11 PM
I don;t think this one showed up at the GZLegal site.  Link below is to the 18th Circuit page.

22 May Defendant Reply to State Opposition to Evidentiary Hearing (http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/Defendant%27s%20Reply%20to%20State%27s%20Response%20to%20Defendant%27s%20Motion%20for%20Evidentiary%20Hearing.pdf)

This is the argument in favor of conducting a hearing, and rebuts Bernardo's contention that the technical methods e used by Reich and H&H pass the Frye test.  The reply includes discussion of Owen.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 24, 2013, 01:34:46 PM
Excellent job by O'Mara and West.  I wonder who their expert is.  I can't believe that Nelson could disregard this and not have a Frye hearing.  Interesting that they are supposed to depose Reich today.  I guess he doesn't demand a fee like Owen's.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 24, 2013, 01:58:57 PM
The reply is very good. I don't see how Judge Nelson could let the voice ID evidence in without holding a Frye hearing, but she's made some other rulings I can't quite understand.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 24, 2013, 02:06:49 PM
I don't see how Judge Nelson could let the voice ID evidence in without holding a Frye hearing, but she's made some other rulings I can't quite understand.

I don't think Nelson has done anything as egregious as denying the Frye hearing would be.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 24, 2013, 02:07:41 PM
The reply is very good. I don't see how Judge Nelson could let the voice ID evidence in without holding a Frye hearing, but she's made some other rulings I can't quite understand.

I predicted some time ago that she'd have a hearing, then let the experts testify.  The basis will be that the jury is able to sort out an conflicting conclusions.  The state's case, without voice experts, is exceptionally weak.  By now, Nelson probably has a sense of just how vulnerable the state's case is, and she'll be throwing lifelines as quick as Bernardo gives half a reason to do so.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 24, 2013, 02:20:21 PM
The reply includes discussion of Owen.

Not Primeau, nor any other expert but Owen and the three who have made reports.

The reply also cites a Florida Supreme court case, Ramirez v. State, 810 So. 2d 836 (2001). (http://case-law.vlex.com/vid/joseph-j-ramirez-vs-state-florida-appellee-20847844) The decision holds that application to the 'type of evidence' specific to the case is subject to the Frye test, not only the 'underlying principle'.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 24, 2013, 03:13:51 PM
I predicted some time ago that she'd have a hearing, then let the experts testify.  The basis will be that the jury is able to sort out an conflicting conclusions.  The state's case, without voice experts, is exceptionally weak.  By now, Nelson probably has a sense of just how vulnerable the state's case is, and she'll be throwing lifelines as quick as Bernardo gives half a reason to do so.

I could be wrong, but if she lets it in, I think a conviction would be reversed on appeal. The Frye requirement rejects the view that it's completely up to the jury to weigh scientific evidence.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 24, 2013, 03:20:04 PM
I could be wrong, but if she lets it in, I think a conviction would be reversed on appeal. The Frye requirement rejects the view that it's completely up to the jury to weigh scientific evidence.

But the Florida Jury instructions include an admonition to the jury that it is free to accept all, part, or none of what the expert says.  In that sense, an expert is no more exalted than any other witness.

It would be an interesting question on appeal, assuming a conviction.  I think Nelson has a sense that this is a turkey of a case for the prosecution, and that gives her more latitude to err in the state's favor during the trial.  If there is an aquittal, errors in the state's favor will not be the basis for appeal.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 24, 2013, 03:32:05 PM
But the Florida Jury instructions include an admonition to the jury that it is free to accept all, part, or none of what the expert says.  In that sense, an expert is no more exalted than any other witness.

It would be an interesting question on appeal, assuming a conviction.  I think Nelson has a sense that this is a turkey of a case for the prosecution, and that gives her more latitude to err in the state's favor during the trial.  If there is an aquittal, errors in the state's favor will not be the basis for appeal.

There have been a number of Florida cases where the appellate court reversed because scientific evidence didn't meet the Frye test -- Ramirez v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1706125296011018262&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 651 So. 2d 1164 (Fla. 1995), for one. If the jury were entrusted to weigh that evidence, there would be no Frye test and no reversals based on it.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 24, 2013, 03:45:55 PM
There have been a number of Florida cases where the appellate court reversed because scientific evidence didn't meet the Frye test -- Ramirez v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1706125296011018262&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 651 So. 2d 1164 (Fla. 1995), for one. If the jury were entrusted to weigh that evidence, there would be no Frye test and no reversals based on it.

I don't know if there are any cases where that error is held to be harmless.

But my point was a different one, and it went to how I speculate Nelson will rationalize allowing the testimony.  I don't think the testimony is admissible as expert testimony, just on its face and without going through the sophisticated wordplay that lawyers and judges love so much.  The experts can't reach a reliable conclusion, therefore their opinion isn;t helpful to the layman.  That the experts disagree, using the same methods! is rock solid evidence of inability to reach a reliable conclusion on this evidence.

As I mentioned above, I don't know, at the conclusion of the case, that the error matters.  It certainly does not matter if Zimmerman is acquitted.  Which introduces my other thought, that Nelson expects an acquittal, and so is unconcerned about making errors that cut against the defense.  The defense wins the trial, there is no appeal on having admitted the state's unqualified expert opinions.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on May 24, 2013, 03:58:19 PM
I don't know if there are any cases where that error is held to be harmless.

Yes, for example, Flanagan v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8455521690406821960&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 625 So.2d 827 (Fla. 1993). I can't see how, in a weak case where the identity of the screamer is critical, allowing in improper voice ID evidence could be held harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Cylinder on May 24, 2013, 04:03:43 PM
But my point was a different one, and it went to how I speculate Nelson will rationalize allowing the testimony.

If the court chooses to adopt the state's view, she will rationalize it, IMO, by name. Instead of looking under the hood she will just assert that voice recognition is accepted and call the details an issue of fact instead of law. As you pointed out on another subject, the state uses a simple strategy - everything they assert in their response is right. Differing opinion or claims of experimental error aren't Frye territory. Of course, none of that is helpful because Owen and Reich aren't following an accepted methodology. It would be like doing DNA matching with a dowsing rod. It's DNA matching, right? We all agree that's an accepted science.

I was pleased to see that MOM was measured in approach to the H&H report. What they did was ethical science. It's just not reliable and they have the integrity to point that out in their own report. That should be rewarded.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 24, 2013, 04:04:12 PM
Yes, for example, Flanagan v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8455521690406821960&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 625 So.2d 827 (Fla. 1993). I can't see how, in a weak case where the identity of the screamer is critical, allowing in improper voice ID evidence could be held harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Neither can I.  Well, except to the extent the experts can't reach a conclusion - and Reich is about as good as an astrologer, (tongue in cheek) I can see the DCA ruling that no reasonable jury would be persuaded to adopt the conclusions of the experts, based on the expert's testimony.

But seriously, I agree with you, allowing the experts would be reversible error.  I think Nelson doesn't care.  Either because she wants to pass the buck to the DCA, or because she thinks the defendant is going to prevail.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 24, 2013, 04:44:17 PM
I predicted some time ago that she'd have a hearing, then let the experts testify.  The basis will be that the jury is able to sort out an conflicting conclusions.  The state's case, without voice experts, is exceptionally weak.  By now, Nelson probably has a sense of just how vulnerable the state's case is, and she'll be throwing lifelines as quick as Bernardo gives half a reason to do so.
Really?  If in a televised case she is making ridiculous decisions, it won't adversely effect her career?  I am not a Frye expert but I doubt, "Let's just let the jury handle it." is an option for her.  She has to rule whether or not the expert is applying accepted science.  A judge who allows an astrologer to testify might well be in trouble.  Bernie's only argument is that his experts use spectral analysis so they are OK; let the details of how be damned.  Astrologers use well established tables of planetary and lunar motion.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on May 24, 2013, 06:33:55 PM
The defense's reply states in the first footnote that they have received material from Owen. I sure hope it is better than the tech specs on his EVB software site. It must have been written by a non-native English speaker. It is largely unintelligible.
After looking at Owen's CV I conclude that it is very unlikely that he wrote or understands the algorithms that his software uses. The techniques mentioned in the tech specs of Owen's software are standard techniques, and well-tested for speaker id. Under many conditions that probably would not be considered new science. However, there are stacks of papers that report the serious degradation of these techniques in distressed speaker, poor recording conditions, and with limited speaking times. These are areas of active research to improve speaker id systems. There is probably no research that has been done on speaker id of speech that has degraded to the point of being unintelligible (with the exception Reich of course).  Also, as I said before, how does Owen even know that he is not mixing different voices when he does his analysis.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 26, 2013, 05:01:03 PM
I was searching for something else, and ran across West's December 5, 2012 Motion to Compel Regarding Voice Identification (http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/Motion%20to%20Compel%20Regarding%20Voice%20Identification%2012%207%2012.pdf).

I mention this here to put the importance (or lack of importance) of the expert opinions.  I had forgotten that neighborhood eyewitnesses, other than John, had given statements that they recognize the voice screaming for help, as heard on the recorded 911 call, as that of Zimmerman.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 26, 2013, 08:09:27 PM
I had forgotten that neighborhood eyewitnesses, other than John, had given statements that they recognize the voice screaming for help, as heard on the recorded 911 call, as that of Zimmerman.

The witnesses are W-45 and his unidentified neighbor, according to W-45's FBI interview summary. (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/1112/discovery9/sa_weyrauch_w45.pdf)

W-45 is 110% sure. The neighbor is only 100% sure.

ETA: There might be others, but West said 'two neighbors' in the motion, and referenced a single FBI report.

ETA 2: W-45 apparently doesn't socialize with Zimmerman, but he described positive interactions with him as a neighbor. He's not an entirely unbiased witness.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 27, 2013, 06:57:53 AM
ETA 2: W-45 apparently doesn't socialize with Zimmerman, but he described positive interactions with him as a neighbor. He's not an entirely unbiased witness.
I've heard how sure some of these people are.  (I think Boobie said he would swear on a stack of bibles that it was Trayvon.)  But I haven't heard of a single one that claims he heard the subject scream like that before or who picked the screams out of a lineup.  And we demand a Frye hearing for scientists but nothing for these kind of witnesses?  The fact that West wrote a memo shows how much depends on calculations involving how dumb a jury they will get versus getting good evidence.   
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 27, 2013, 07:28:33 AM
I've heard how sure some of these people are.  (I think Boobie said he would swear on a stack of bibles that it was Trayvon.)  But I haven't heard of a single one that claims he heard the subject scream like that before or who picked the screams out of a lineup.  And we demand a Frye hearing for scientists but nothing for these kind of witnesses?  The fact that West wrote a memo shows how much depends on calculations involving how dumb a jury they will get versus getting good evidence.

IIRC, Robert Zimmerman, Sr. said, under oath, that he'd heard his son George scream for help before.

"It was absolutely George's" voice screaming on the tape, his father testified, saying he had heard his son yell "many times" before.

Clashing views of Zimmerman arise in bail hearing (http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/29/2873593_p3/judge-to-decide-again-whether.html) - Miami Herald - 29 June 2012

The experts come to the case without any familiarity with the various speakers, beyond what they are given for evidence to work with.  The Frye test just flat out doesn't apply to a fact witness, because the fact witness isn't depending on the application of science, technology, or specialized expertise.  That doesn't mean a fact witness can't be challenged as having insufficient basis for the statement.  Cutcher, for example, didn't see the altercation, and doesn't know the natural voices of either Martin or Zimmerman, but she claims Martin was the screamer because the screams sounded like a little boy, and she saw Zimmerman standing over Martin some half a minute or more after the shot was fired.

West's motion was well taken, because it aims to use the power of the court to prospectively force the state to disclose specific exculpatory evidence.  It also informs the state that the defense is interested in the conclusions of at least one other fact witness who may be qualified by familiarity with Martin's voice - Witness 8.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 27, 2013, 08:20:57 AM
Robert Zimmerman or anybody else who claims to be able to identify the screamer from the recording would have to be closely questioned on the previous instances they heard him scream like that and how many other people they had heard scream in that manner so they could tell the difference.  When GZ himself tried to recreate the screams, he didn't come close.  The pitch was much lower.  The only thing that can be determined with certainty from the 911 call is the extreme distress the yeller was in which indicates he had a serious concern for his life.  That it can't be disproved that Zimmerman was the screamer, plus the reasonableness of the concern (EG, witness#6 last saw the wrestlers on the concrete with GZ on his back) can only mean an acquittal.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 27, 2013, 08:34:22 AM
When GZ himself tried to recreate the screams, he didn't come close.  The pitch was much lower.

I didn't find the pitch to be much different, but the duration sure was.  If SPD was serious about trying to get a match that would facilitate scientific analysis, they'd play the recording for Zimmerman as a cue.

Anyway, my general point was only to explain that the Frye test goes to the science or expertise that is played against the evidence.  This is different from what a fact witness is allowed to base testimony on.  I don't know of a simple test for the reliability of fact witnesses, other than the hearsay rule.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 27, 2013, 11:13:03 AM
Hmm.  AJ could tell us how close he got.  IIRC I thought he was an octave away from some of the 911 screams.  Of course O'Mara could ask an expert to see if could get George to match the screams.  Then the prosecution would demand a Frye hearing to see if that was admissible.  ;D   
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: AJ on May 27, 2013, 01:59:50 PM
Hmm.  AJ could tell us how close he got.  IIRC I thought he was an octave away from some of the 911 screams.  Of course O'Mara could ask an expert to see if could get George to match the screams.  Then the prosecution would demand a Frye hearing to see if that was admissible.  ;D

I don't have the example screams Mr. Zimmerman did, and taking a youtube video as a source wouldn't be a wise idea (no clue how many times it has been re-encoded, etc). I have the video that gzlegalcase released (you now have to do a media request to get it because it's 600MB), but it doesn't include the screams. Also, on something like that I probably wouldn't give an estimation of how close they are; I'd probably just submit screenshots of the oscilloscopes/spectrographs of each and let each person come to their own conclusion.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 27, 2013, 02:30:54 PM
I think Boobie said he would swear on a stack of bibles that it was Trayvon.

9/284 (http://www.clickorlando.com/blob/view/-/15490330/data/1/-/kligxm/-/Zimmerman-documents.pdf)
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: AghastInFL on May 27, 2013, 02:32:18 PM
The witnesses are W-45 and his unidentified neighbor, according to W-45's FBI interview summary. (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/1112/discovery9/sa_weyrauch_w45.pdf)

W-45 is 110% sure. The neighbor is only 100% sure.

ETA: There might be others, but West said 'two neighbors' in the motion, and referenced a single FBI report.

ETA 2: W-45 apparently doesn't socialize with Zimmerman, but he described positive interactions with him as a neighbor. He's not an entirely unbiased witness.

W-11also identified George by name as the one screaming - Help as he was being pummeled.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 27, 2013, 03:13:23 PM
W-11also identified George by name as the one screaming - Help as he was being pummeled.

She was talking about what she believed after the fact. She didn't say she recognized Zimmerman's voice.

Serino had asked her about other witnesses.

W-11/SPD, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2tTr2gEGg&feature=related#t=02m48s) 2:48-3:19. 
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 27, 2013, 06:59:28 PM
IIRC, Robert Zimmerman, Sr. said, under oath, that he'd heard his son George scream for help before.

I remember hearing him say that.

Video and transcript of the second (6/29/12) bond hearing are oddly hard to find. The best I could do was a 51 minute YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOF0A016hJ0) that doesn't include any of Robert Sr.'s testimony. (The first few minutes are from the end of the reenactment, with Zimmerman talking about his injuries.)

The 6/29 hearing was nominally the subject of one of the forum's first threads. (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,1977.0.html) It started after the hearing was over. It has discussion of several bond-related issues, but not much information about the events of the hearing.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: DiwataMan on May 27, 2013, 07:38:51 PM
I remember hearing him say that.

Video and transcript of the second (6/29/12) bond hearing are oddly hard to find. The best I could do was a 51 minute YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOF0A016hJ0) that doesn't include any of Robert Sr.'s testimony. (The first few minutes are from the end of the reenactment, with Zimmerman talking about his injuries.)

The 6/29 hearing was nominally the subject of one of the forum's first threads. (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,1977.0.html) It started after the hearing was over. It has discussion of several bond-related issues, but not much information about the events of the hearing.

I have audio only on that one, missed a bit at the beginning. RZsr @1:51:49
http://diwataman.wordpress.com/my-posts-parent-page/george-zimmerman-case/george-zimmerman-case-hearings/
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 27, 2013, 07:48:20 PM
I have audio only on that one,

Thanks.

I should remember to check your site on such occasions.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on May 27, 2013, 07:51:00 PM
Quote
“It was absolutely George’s” voice screaming on the tape, his father testified, saying he had heard his son yell “many times” before.

De la Rionda asked how his son could have been screaming for help if, as Zimmerman told police, Trayvon had his hand over his mouth and nose.

“From the extent of my son’s injuries,” Robert Zimmerman Sr. said, “Trayvon Martin’s hands were not just on his nose and mouth.”

Both lawyers agreed that there are several inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s various statements to police

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/29/2873593_p3/judge-to-decide-again-whether.html#storylink=cpy
Judging from the recent revelations about Trayvon Martin, I wouldn't be surprised if Sybrina Fulton says he screamed a lot also.  It could be that screams differ much less from person to person than regular speech.  I am hoping that a Frye hearing will give us an education on this.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 28, 2013, 06:47:21 AM
Cutcher, for example, didn't see the altercation, and doesn't know the natural voices of either Martin or Zimmerman, but she claims Martin was the screamer because the screams sounded like a little boy, and she saw Zimmerman standing over Martin some half a minute or more after the shot was fired.

I don't think Cutcher saw anything. On 2/26/12 she reportedly told SPD Officer Jonathan Mead that she didn't witness anything (18/184 (http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/357450/trayvon-martin-documents-ocr.pdf)).

On her 911 call she can be heard asking Mora 'is it the black guy that got shot or is he the one - ?'

Substituting Mora for Cutcher, why do you think it took her half a minute to get from her kitchen counter to her back door?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 28, 2013, 09:18:21 PM
If SPD was serious about trying to get a match that would facilitate scientific analysis, they'd play the recording for Zimmerman as a cue.

FDLE (p. 12 of the March FDLE report (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/1112/discovery9/fdle_reports_march.pdf)). It was on 3/22, the same day they downloaded Zimmerman's phone and Corey took over the case.

How do you know Zimmerman didn't hear the recording before the recreation?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on May 29, 2013, 03:33:54 AM
How do you know Zimmerman didn't hear the recording before the recreation?

We may be talking about two different things.  I was thinking of a "cue" whereby the police play the scream, and instruct George to "scream like that."  Make an effort to recreate the sound, like one does when practicing a musical instrument of voice passage.  Play the original for Zimmerman, record an attempt to recreate the original, play the recreation for Zimmerman so he can compare his attempted recreation to the original, repeat as necessary.  In other words, try to make the recreation sound the same as the original, using a feedback loop as a tool.

The only evidence I have that this wasn't done is the disparate duration of the original and recreation screams.  I think most people (even children in the 4-5 year old range), given the feedback loop, would get closer to matching the duration than Zimmerman did.

Your question appears to me, to be whether or not Zimmerman ever heard the recording, before he was asked to scream.  We know he did.  He was asked if he recognized the voice and he said "that doesn't sound like me" or similar.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: IgnatiusJDonnelly on May 29, 2013, 07:17:22 AM
People always say that when they hear recordings of their voice.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Evil Chinchilla on May 29, 2013, 10:24:38 AM
We may be talking about two different things.  I was thinking of a "cue" whereby the police play the scream, and instruct George to "scream like that."  Make an effort to recreate the sound, like one does when practicing a musical instrument of voice passage.  Play the original for Zimmerman, record an attempt to recreate the original, play the recreation for Zimmerman so he can compare his attempted recreation to the original, repeat as necessary.  In other words, try to make the recreation sound the same as the original, using a feedback loop as a tool.

The only evidence I have that this wasn't done is the disparate duration of the original and recreation screams.  I think most people (even children in the 4-5 year old range), given the feedback loop, would get closer to matching the duration than Zimmerman did.
I've always suspected he was instructed for some reason to do it the way he did it.

That maybe they thought he needed to be enunciating distinct little "help me" phrases so they could get a clear sample of the various forms of those two words to compare to the 911 call, when comparing patterns in whatever analysis they're subjecting the sound files to (and I don't really know how this works, other than that sounds can be translated into visual patterns for comparison).

I've got to be honest: if you told me "Five bucks if you scream,"  I wouldn't be able to do a real scream, just say "eeee" somewhat louder than my normal volume. For some reason, I just can't intentionally do one on request. But if you whacked me in the shin with a baseball bat, I'd definitely be able to scream.

So I can sympathize with someone not being able to scream convincingly when asked to, even if they've got everything riding on it.

However, I've also always thought it unlikely that George actually thought that chain of little staccato "help-me-help-me-help-me"s sounded anything like what he was doing that night. You'd think he'd at least attempt to go "helllllpppp," regardless of how convincingly distraught it sounded.

That's why I think he was instructed to repeat short bursts of "help me".
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on May 29, 2013, 05:18:56 PM
Your question appears to me, to be whether or not Zimmerman ever heard the recording, before he was asked to scream.

Sorry. I shouldn't have assumed you would take for granted that I understood what you meant.

Quote
The only evidence I have that this wasn't done is the disparate duration of the original and recreation screams.

I would say that is weak evidence for accusing people of not being serious.

Quote
He was asked if he recognized the voice and he said "that doesn't sound like me" or similar.

SPD (http://www.mysanfordherald.com/view/full_story/19101074/article-Video--audio-tell-George-Zimmerman%E2%80%99s-account-of-Trayvon-Martin-shooting-?instance=home_news_right) 2/29-3, 16:42-17:19
Quote
Serino: Let's play this one.

[W-11's 911 call.]

[Recording off.]

Serino: You hear that voice in the background?

Zimmerman: No, sir.

[911 call. Talk continues over recording.]

Serino: That's you.

[Call continues]

Serino: Are you hearing yourself?

Zimmerman: It doesn't even sound like me.

Serino: It's you.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Philly on June 05, 2013, 09:50:12 AM
I haven't seen mention of this here, but Ed Primeau did a 2013 follow-up article and youtube video regarding scream identification.

http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/tag/ed-primeau/ (http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/tag/ed-primeau/)

He now takes into account Zimmerman's examplar, and appears to back off the certainty of his initial conclusions.  The youtube video speaks for itself - the "real" screams are elongated, but almost exactly the same pitch.  Some of Ed's verbage describing the significance of the voice idenfification is similar to O'Mara's.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's an expert that O'Mara has considered using in the Frye hearing.

On related note, the "bicycle video" recovered from Trayvon's phone is likely (given that we know of only two videos on the phone) the one that was used by the state's experts as a sample of Trayvon's voice.  O'Mara described Trayvon as laughing as the fight occured.  The state reports refered to "high frequency laughs, exclamations and mocking utterances" from Trayvon.

Hmm.  AJ could tell us how close he got.  IIRC I thought he was an octave away from some of the 911 screams.  Of course O'Mara could ask an expert to see if could get George to match the screams.  Then the prosecution would demand a Frye hearing to see if that was admissible.  ;D
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Raoul on June 05, 2013, 10:23:51 AM
@RichardHornsby tweets Fla. adopts Daubert standard for admissibility of Scientific Evidence. Governor signed the bill. He had previously written this. http://blog.richardhornsby.com/2013/05/moving-the-goalposts-in-the-george-zimmerman-trial/
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on June 05, 2013, 10:39:35 AM
I haven't seen mention of this here, but Ed Primeau did a 2013 follow-up article and youtube video regarding scream identification.

http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/tag/ed-primeau/ (http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/tag/ed-primeau/)

He now takes into account Zimmerman's examplar, and appears to back off the certainty of his initial conclusions.  The youtube video speaks for itself - the "real" screams are elongated, but almost exactly the same pitch.  Some of Ed's verbage describing the significance of the voice idenfification is similar to O'Mara's.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's an expert that O'Mara has considered using in the Frye hearing.
They are not the same pitch (fundamental).  That should be obvious to the tinniest of ears.  Also the spread of frequencies is much larger for the 911 screams than the exemplar.  Only a charlatan would try to compare them.  They were made under completely different conditions.  To have any scientific value, you would have to get Zimmerman to match the original screams much better than a random sample of other males could with the same number of trials after listening to the original.  If I were the defense I wouldn't touch this guy with a 10 foot pole.  His previous "analysis", based on the relative ages of Zimmerman and Martin, was a disgrace.  Read what Dr. Rose (http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/06/voice-forensics-experts-cast-doubt-on-orlando-sentinel-analysis-of-trayvon-martin-911-tape/2/) of the Australian National University thinks of the "critical listening skills" method.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on June 05, 2013, 11:22:13 AM
@RichardHornsby tweets Fla. adopts Daubert standard for admissibility of Scientific Evidence. Governor signed the bill. He had previously written this. http://blog.richardhornsby.com/2013/05/moving-the-goalposts-in-the-george-zimmerman-trial/
Somehow O'Mara should make a request that the hearing be based on Daubert.  It might be too late to file a motion.  I suppose he can do it as the hearing starts tomorrow.  As Hornsby told me, the state would probably have to agree.  But them not agreeing would be quite telling.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on June 05, 2013, 01:35:54 PM
Somehow O'Mara should make a request that the hearing be based on Daubert.  It might be too late to file a motion.  I suppose he can do it as the hearing starts tomorrow.  As Hornsby told me, the state would probably have to agree.  But them not agreeing would be quite telling.

That seems like a good idea. O'Mara predicts jury selection will take two or three weeks, so by the time the trial begins, Daubert may apply.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on June 05, 2013, 01:43:20 PM
I disagree with Hornsby that the voice evidence meets the Frye test but not the Daubert test. I think it meets neither.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 05, 2013, 05:00:52 PM
Direct link (http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/george-zimmerman-or-trayvon-martin-who-cried-for-help/) to Primeau article on Zimmerman case.

I'm amused that in the first article (http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/audio-forensics-accurate-arguable-authentic-approach/) on the page, Primeau complains repeatedly that 'In our country today, we are guilty until proven innocent, the opposite of what our United States Constitution promises.' Then, in the Martin/Zimmerman article, this:

Quote
Remember, Zimmerman ignored the police when they told him not to follow Trayvon.

That has not been proven. I believe it myself, but that's another matter.

It's also tendentiously worded. The dispatcher is an employee of the police department, but he's not a police officer, and so not 'the police' for the purpose of giving citizens directives.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 05, 2013, 06:17:17 PM
He now takes into account Zimmerman's examplar, and appears to back off the certainty of his initial conclusions.

On Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/2/12, Primeau said his confidence was 'in the nineties'.

Transcript (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/46966562/ns/msnbc/t/last-word-lawrence-odonnell-monday-april/#.Ua_Rf5y1ucc)

Video  (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45755883/ns/msnbc-the_last_word/vp/46934308/#46934308)

It's at 3:53 on the video. O'Donnell starts talking to Primeau at 3:00.

I don't see where Primeau backs off that in the recent article or video. He seems to me be talking more about what other experts will say, than his own opinions.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on June 05, 2013, 08:16:45 PM
Has the overall coverage of the Martin/Zimmerman on MSNBC become any more objective over the past year?  I haven't seen much progress in that direction at the Huffington Post.  It makes me uncomfortable that my politics is so close to the people who I think are dead wrong about this case.  I suppose it bothers TalkLeft too.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: Philly on June 05, 2013, 08:38:08 PM
Quote
I don't see where Primeau backs off that in the recent article or video. He seems to me be talking more about what other experts will say, than his own opinions.

You may be right that he's speaking from the point of view of what other experts might say.  But given what he was saying in 2012, the new article seems a big shift.

As folk have noted, Ed's 2012 articles and interviews asserted that he was all all but certain (95%) that Zimmerman was not the one screaming. 

“I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau says, stressing that the tone of the voice is a giveaway. “That’s a young man screaming.”

April 4, 2013: http://edprimeau.com/category/trayvon-martin/ (http://edprimeau.com/category/trayvon-martin/)

This particular article is colored by his assumptions, he states, "Think about it, why would a guy with a loaded gun who was stalking someone suddenly turn into a victim? That’s what the Zimmerman team is claiming. Whatever Trayvon did was in self-defense."  He already had a conclusion in mind before comparing Zimmerman's speaking voice with the 911 call screaming.

The more recent article is a huge contrast in that unlike Alan Reich, Ed no longer puts forward such strong conclusions, but rather dangles it as an open, unresolved question: "The question still remains; who screamed for help the night of February 26, 2012."  He emphasizes the difficulty comparing the exemplars with the screaming, noting that the screams in the original recording are more elongated and intense.  He ends the youtube video suggesting steps that could be taken to help establish "reasonable certainty."
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 06, 2013, 02:17:59 AM
Has the overall coverage of the Martin/Zimmerman on MSNBC become any more objective over the past year?

I don't recall seeing any MSNBC coverage for months.

I think interest in the case all over the national media declined sharply after Zimmerman was arrested. For many people I think the national story was the outrage over Zimmerman not being arrested. Once that was done, for them it became another local crime story with a racial angle.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on June 12, 2013, 09:07:09 PM
I know that Owen has been discredited, but I do not feel it is inappropriate to pile on further given the gravity of the situation in which he has put himself. I got a hold of the Easy Voice Biometrics manual from SpeechPro.

One page of the manual says the following:

False Rejection, FR is a probability of error when two voice samples being compared are considered different.
The larger FR value is, the higher is the probability that two voice samples are of the same speaker.
False Acceptance, FA is a probability of error when two voice samples being compared are considered of the
same speaker. The smaller FA value is, the higher is the probability that two voice samples are of the same
speaker.
As a result of comparing two voice samples (one is a voice standard and another is indefinite), the FR and FA
values are calculated.
Likelihood ratio, LR is a measure of similarity between two voice samples being compared; it is calculated as
FR/FA probability ratio. The lager ratio value is, the higher is the probability that two voice samples are of the
same speaker.
Comparing all these three values, the system then calculates generalized similarity value for biometric
characteristics of the target and source speakers.


Here is a screen shot of the EVB main window from SpeechPro. (http://speechpro-usa.com/files/product/1129/images/1129_1758.jpg)

After a comparison of two audio samples, EVB reports FR,FA, and the generalized similarty value referenced above. This is the Matching percent seen in the EVB screen. It is not the likelihood ratio. Unfortunately, how SpeechPro calculates this matching percent is proprietarty information, but it is on a scale from 0-100%. I believe Dr. Nakasone references the likelihood ratio in his testimony, and Dr. Doddington uses the log of the likelihood ratio in the NIST evaluations.

Also, you should know that the relative strength of the match is not colored, grey, yellow, or green for poor,soft, medium, and strong matches, repectively.

Owen does not know that the key value in everything he is doing is not the likelihood ratio. If you have followed this far, watch this interview with Soleded OBrien (http://www.mediaite.com/tv/audio-forensics-expert-tells-cnn-how-he-knows-zimmerman-wasnt-one-screaming-for-help/) (video at the bottom of the page). It is Chris Farley meets Spinal Tap. He has no idea what any of the numbers mean, so he keeps avoiding her questions. He continues to call the Matching percent the likelihood ratio. This is the software that he sells and on which he teaches courses?

It gets much worse....
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on June 13, 2013, 08:17:36 AM
Does the manual go into how the pair of voice samples must be chosen so that the resulting probabilities are meaningful?   Do they mention pairs where one is screams and the other is speech?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on June 13, 2013, 11:43:37 AM
On June 7, 2013, the state filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection  (http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/June%207%20State%27s%20Notice%20of%20Preliminary%20Objection.pdf) regarding the Frye hearing. The state says the defense shsouldn't be allowed to question witnesses about what they believe was said, since that's outside the realm of Frye hearings.

I think the defense might respond that it's necessary for voice ID to know what the expert witness believed the words were, since the formants depend on it. Comparing two words with different vowel sounds is far from standard methodology. They won't match for the same speaker or for a different speaker.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: RickyJim on June 13, 2013, 11:59:47 AM
I think Mantei's motion has to do exclusively with Reich's testimony.  I find it difficult to understand what he is getting at.  I thought the defense was complaining that amplifying a section and listening to it over and over isn't a scientific method, and thus ruled out by Frye,  unless different people doing it will get the same results.  Mantei seems to be saying that what Reich is doing is no different than what is done every day with a recording where some sections are inaudible.  I doubt that is true.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on June 13, 2013, 12:25:36 PM
I think Mantei's motion has to do exclusively with Reich's testimony.

The case it cites, McCoy v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15522578944853004667&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 853 So. 2d 396 (Fla. 2003),  and a case McCoy cites, Holland v. State (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15244748453225796320&hl=en&as_sdt=2,45), 773 So. 2d 1065 (Fla. 2000), seem to completely undermine the admissibility of Reich's testimony about what was said.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: MJW on June 13, 2013, 06:16:11 PM
I think Mantei's motion has to do exclusively with Reich's testimony.

I think it more likely refers to Owen's manually entered interpretation of what was said, as mentioned in cboldt's comment (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2423.msg110403.html#msg110403) on the June 7th hearing thread.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: cboldt on June 13, 2013, 06:41:37 PM
I think it more likely refers to Owen's manually entered interpretation of what was said, as mentioned in cboldt's comment (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2423.msg110403.html#msg110403) on the June 7th hearing thread.

The effect of the notice would only affect the Q&A during hearing anyway.  Watch for the "word ID is an audibility issue" argument to resurface when the state and defense argue their respective sides after evidence has been heard.

If the objection is supposed to salvage Reich's hearing of words, it fails.  Burden is on the proponent to establish that the methods are not new and novel, are accepted by the scientific community.  Reich's methodology is scientifically opaque - there is no science there (word ID via amplification and trained ear and hundreds of hours of listening), at least not written in his report.

Mantei's argument is essentially that inaudible/non-transcribable "words" are an out of bounds subject in the Frye hearing.  That Reich's testimony passes the Frye test because Reich is transcribing inaudible "words."  IOW, if it's inaudible, it passes the Frye test.  Well, okay then, Nelson can be the last word on the transcription.

Transcripts under McCoy have (inaudible) notations right in them; and the judge has to find/agree that the transcription doesn't make representations it isn't entitled to make, before a jury is allowed to see the transcript.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 14, 2013, 01:55:24 AM
If the objection is supposed to salvage Reich's hearing of words

It doesn't read that way to me. To me it sounds like they are conceding that there is no relevant expertise in word identification, and implying that they won't be offering anyone to testify as an expert on that.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on June 18, 2013, 04:32:56 PM
Does the manual go into how the pair of voice samples must be chosen so that the resulting probabilities are meaningful?   Do they mention pairs where one is screams and the other is speech?
The manual provides very little detail about the underlying model. SpeechPro states that these details about the specific algorithms are proprietary. Most importantly they do not explain how the "matching percent" is calculated even though this is the key output of the comparison. Unless STC gives Owen their "secret recipe" he cannot answer any specific questions about the key component of his analysis. STC also specifically states that the level of match (no color, grey, yellow, or green) is a threshold that the user does not know and cannot be changed. To me as a scientist, this absolutely disqualifies any output of EVB as science; if you can't explain what your numbers mean, the results can not be scrutinized or repeated; it is not science. I do not know why the defense is not focusing on this issue.
If you go to SpeechPro's EVB site (http://speechpro-usa.com/product/1129#tab1) (not Owen's EVB site), the overview of the software states:
The product is designed to assist analysts but not to substitute for them. The court verdict cannot be based on the results of any automatic system regardless of what we compare: voice, face, fingerprint or footprints. Only the forensic expert who carried out the investigation using all scientifically available methods and tools can make a conclusion.
 
SpeechPro envisions their product as purely an investigatory tool not to be used in court.

In the manual they do state that 3 seconds is the minimum required speech content. Speech content is only the part of the sample that EVB recognizes as speech; it automatically throws away silence, noise,etc. So Owen originally put in 7 seconds by combining all the shouts/screams. This 7 seconds was whittled down to 2 seconds of speech by EVB. This was not enough. The manual says that the error message "Voice model cannot be created." is caused by:
The program cannot detect biometrical characteristics. The reason is, probably, that the speech duration in the file is less than 3 seconds and the program will not process such files.

If you look closely at the screen in the Soledad OBrien interview of Owen my post above, Owen has specifically marked the file as containing only 2 seconds  of screams. If you look at the calculated speech time it is 4 seconds. He has obviously doubled the 7 second file containing 2 seconds of speech and now has 4 seconds of speech. Otherwise he  couldn't do his analysis. The 2 seconds of speech matches the testimony of Nakasone.

I downloaded the EVB demo. The demo is limited to a bunch of audio samples that they provide. When comparing most of the same speaker recordings the matching percent is high. However they do give a sample of a person whispering and another sample of the same person talking over a noisy phone line. That pair give a 49% matching. George had a 48% matching. This certainly shows that the ability of the software to identify speakers degrades substantially when the context and channel of the two samples and the UBM are not the same.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 18, 2013, 06:59:25 PM
The manual says that the error message "Voice model cannot be created." is caused by:
The program cannot detect biometrical characteristics. The reason is, probably, that the speech duration in the file is less than 3 seconds and the program will not process such files.

If you look closely at the screen in the Soledad OBrien interview of Owen my post above, Owen has specifically marked the file as containing only 2 seconds  of screams. If you look at the calculated speech time it is 4 seconds. He has obviously doubled the 7 second file containing 2 seconds of speech and now has 4 seconds of speech.

IOW, he cheated.

ETA: If he used the program in a way not described in the manual, that he himself came up with, wouldn't that be a novel method?
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: jjr495 on June 18, 2013, 08:29:36 PM
ETA: If he used the program in a way not described in the manual, that he himself came up with, wouldn't that be a novel method?
I'd bet my house that he had nothing to do with writing the manual or software. The manual was clearly written by a non-native English speaker. Owen's function is to market the software to various law enforcement agencies.
Title: Re: Voice ID experts
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 18, 2013, 10:49:35 PM
I'd bet my house that he had nothing to do with writing the manual or software.

I think he said he didn't write the manual or software. Anyway, I took for granted that he didn't, so I didn't realize that I was being ambiguous. I meant 'that he himself came up with' to apply to his expansion of the input data by repetition, not the manual.